How Gmail tabs are affecting email marketing

When Gmail came out with its email tabs in May of last year, marketers everywhere thought they could hear the death knell of email marketing tolling.

If it wasn’t bad enough that many promotional emails get sent to the spam or junk folder, now the ones that GMail-Logoactually got through would be going to the promotions folder, which sounded just as bad. How the tabs work is now when emails arrive, they are automatically sorted into three folders: Primary, Social, and Promotions. The idea is you’ll be able to find the emails you want more easily. It turns out, however, marketers’ fears went unrealized.

Sue Cho, email marketing manager for The Honest Company, said, “I know people were kind of freaking out about the Google change and if open rates were going to go down, but as the change rolled out and I watched our metrics nothing was going down really. That seems to be the general consensus among retailers.” As an online retailer, The Honest Company thrives on its email leads, so it was significant that their open rates didn’t seem to be impacted. One thing companies can do, and which the Honest Company did, is to ask customers to add them to their contact list so their emails arrive safely.

Several other stores reported similar results—which is nothing, basically. Constant Contact, an email marketing solutions company, and Urban Outfitters, and clothing retail company, said the main difference they noticed was “people would take their time in getting to the emails, effectively saving them for later.”

It turns out this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though open rates have a 24 hour delay now, people are now going to their promotions tab expecting to see things for sale. They’re in the right mood to be sold to and so email marketing is more likely to work.

Of course, email marketing isn’t the only alternative to full-scale advertising. Companies looking for a different route of communicating with their customers might consider pay per call marketing. This means you only pay your affiliates if you get a quality lead and your name is spread in more diverse locations. The key is to communicate with potential customers at the right moment—as now happens with Gmail’s promotions tab.

Source: DigiDay

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